Beauty & the Beast.

20 Apr

It’s your birthday. Balloons are bouncing on decorative ribbon, gifts are neatly wrapped and topped with colorful bows, a big white cake with smooth, creamy frosting pegged with candles and ready to be sliced is displayed on the table—everything is fun and dandy, until the group made up of your friends and family members starts singing “Happy Birthday.” Why? Because all of a sudden you feel like Ricky Bobby. You don’t know what to do with your hands. Or face. Or any part of your body. The most awkward 20 seconds ever slowly ticks by as you struggle to find something to fix your eyes on, or an appropriate facial expression to make or body pose to hold, but none is found.

What in the world are you supposed to do with yourself when people sing “Happy Birthday” to you? In any picture taken during a birthday song, the birthday girl or boy (also see “victim”) is sitting there like a deer in headlights, always with a small element of fear in their face. Suddenly you’re forced to go into zombie/blow-up doll mode and sit with your hands dropped by our sides, looking aloof—almost retarded—and wait for the torturous song to finally end. For some reason everyone cheers at the end of the birthday song. “…yaaaay!!!! *clap clap clap*.” I know why people are cheering—people are cheering because they can finally be at ease now that it’s over. Why is this so weird?

This is especially uncomfortable in public places, like restaurants. All of a sudden, without request, a half a dozen Applebee’s employees in marinara-stained Dickies burst into the scene and start half-singing, half-shouting a medley of birthday songs mixed with what sounds like a sloppy combination of “The 12 Days of Christmas” and Jock Jams, while you sit startled in your booth, embarrassed that the entire restaurant is now pausing with their forks halfway to their mouths, staring over at you, slightly resentful that you’ve interrupted their dining experience. For some reason, these strangers stare for the entire length of the birthday song, too. As if something is going to happen at the end, like a fireworks display, or a magic trick. They watch the whole scene go down from beginning to end, and then turn away with a look of slight irritation mixed with empathy on their faces before returning to their Reuben sandwiches and french fries.

Even worse than the cliche Applebee’s birthday song, however, is the Mexican restaurant birthday song.

There are few things that are worse than having a group of waiters-slash-Mariachi band members bustle up to your table, appearing almost out of nowhere, shoving a planet-sized sombrero over your head, and belting out a birthday melody in Spanish, slurring the words “cumpleanos” and “feliz” and “tu” at an obnoxious volume for everyone to hear and spectate upon. The bad thing about singing the birthday song in Spanish is that you never know when the end is going to come. At least in English you know when to anticipate the agony to be over. There’s an end in sight. If you don’t understand Spanish, then you have to sit in awkwardness for what seems like six straight minutes. For some reason it always seems like the Mexicans are asking you questions, too. “What?” you interrupt. The clamor continues. Fortunately, Mexican food is good enough to outweigh the negatives in this sort of scenario, but it’s still uncomfortable, and evading this situation is favorable.

I don’t know what would be more difficult to do: make a hideous person beautiful, or make a beautiful person hideous. My most recent astonishment? Charlize Theron in Monster.

How could they have possibly pulled this off? Charlize Theron is hot. There is no denying it. The ocean is big, the sky is blue, Morgan Freeman is black as hell, and Charlize Theron is hot. It’s just a fact of life. How in the HELL did they transform her into a grubby, weathered, cracked out, dirty lesbian for that film? Man has landed on the moon, they’ve made a chocolate chip cookie the size of a basketball court, and we have a black president. All big news. None as shocking as the ability to turn Charlize Theron into Bruce Vilanch, however. Not even close.

I’d like to see the same artists to turn Susan Boyle into Miranda Kerr. You know, turn the tables. I wonder how long it took to transform Theron into Shrek. This is like trying to get man to walk on water, or Kirstie Alley to stay fit. I bet they had Yale-graduate engineers working on the project for months. Doctors from all over the world had to have been involved. Britney Spears’ makeup artist was probably in on it, too. It’s amazing what they can do these days.

I just finished up getting a physical for my new life insurance policy. A 50-some-year-old Italian man named Victor popped over with his medical bag and his forms and his tinted glasses and asked me if I smoked, had any recent surgeries, if I had any history of blood or heart disease, had me pee in a cup, drew my blood, etc. You know, the usual once-over.

I passed out in front of Victor from Guardian Life Insurance.


As he drew my blood, I intentionally looked away, trying not to think about the needle, humming loudly as it sank deeper into my vein, drawing my blood into the three tubes. He pulled the needle out, quickly applied a cotton ball, and started chatting away about…..what was it? Suddenly things became very fuzzy. I felt the blood drain out of my face and my hands begin to tremble.

Then I woke up. Just napping away on the kitchen table, dreaming of urine samples. Victor was talking. “….did I pass out?” I asked. He said yes, and began to explain it was probably because I hadn’t eaten since the day before and…….

Then I woke up again. On the floor this time. Fainted yet again. I was so confused. I laid on the floor for 1 or 2 minutes until I sat up, and Victor made sure I wasn’t going to pass out yet again, and left me with instructions to consume some sugar and lay down.

I love first impressions.

Well, I’m off to run some errands. Looks like I am moving from Connecticut back to Iowa on Friday until after the wedding. More on that next time.

Me: “How was Veishea, what little of it you remember?”
Johnny: “I remember seeing some guy walking ahead of me fall down, and a lot of people laughing at him. 50 steps later he’s still on the ground I find out it’s James Duysen.”


One Response to “Beauty & the Beast.”

  1. kristin May 26, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    I have no words except you are hilarious, and I want to have your hilarious babies.

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